Seville Area Map
Seville's barrios (neighborhoods) largely sprawl outward from the city's main sightseeing and tourist-friendly hub, El Centro. Head west from El Centro and you'll find the popular El Arenal neighborhood set alongside the Guadalquivir River where you can sip a cerveza (beer) while enjoying the waterfront panorama. Barrio Santa Cruz can be found just east of El Centro and is best for exploring Seville's winding walkways and tucked-away tapas bars. As you head further toward the outskirts of the city, you'll uncover areas like La Macarena, and across the river you'll find Triana and Los Remedios. These neighborhoods offer fewer allures for travelers, but those willing to venture out will be rewarded with the chance to dig deeper into Sevillano culture.
Seville's central neighborhood is where you will likely spend most of your time. The Catedral de Sevilla and La Giralda tower are both located in El Centro, as is the Real Alcázar royal palace and the city's main road, La Avenida de Constitución. The area's public squares – such as Plaza Nueva and Plaza del Salvador – are great places to experience the buzz of the city, as they act as gathering spots for locals looking to play music, picnic or people-watch. This section of the city is also peppered with major shopping areas, cafes and restaurants. And because El Centro neighborhood is home to many of the best hotels in Seville, the city's core is an accessible and tourist-friendly place to stay for first-time visitors.
Before the Spanish Inquisition of the late 15th Century, Santa Cruz served as Seville's Jewish quarter – many of the churches in this neighborhood were originally built as synagogues. Today, the area is composed of winding pedestrian-only streets and plazas lined with orange trees. Many visitors choose to stay or spend time in this quaint neighborhood for its artisan shops, tapas bars and connection to the Seville of yesteryear. Flamenco shows (like those at La Carbonería) and lots of shady relief from the sun abound in Santa Cruz. The barrio sits adjacent to Seville's El Centro neighborhood, a short walk east of the Catedral.
Seville's El Arenal neighborhood rests on the eastern shore of the Guadalquivir River (west of El Centro) and is recognizable by the prominent 13th-century Torre del Oro sticking out in the skyline. The neighborhood is built along the waterside street Paseo de Cristóbal Colón, which is often filled with tourists and locals mingling in cafes and shops. Head east from the river into this neighborhood and you'll find the Museo de Bellas Artes and the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza bullring.
If you're looking to venture into a less crowded (and arguably more authentic) portion of the city, head northwest from El Centro to discover La Macarena. Full of artist communities, trendy thrift stores and flea markets, La Macarena has come a long way since its beginnings as a poor, run-down region of the city. This area is near the increasingly popular Plaza Alameda, which houses an outdoor artisan market and is lined with quirky bars and off-the-beaten-path restaurants. A portion of Seville's former city walls – dating back to the 12th century – still stand in La Macarena despite having been torn down elsewhere across the city in the 19th century.
Triana and its fellow west-of-the-Guadalquivir neighbor, Los Remedios, were once unsafe, not-so-enticing parts of the city for tourists. But in recent years, this former Gypsy quarter has seen a resurgence of restaurants and entertainment that appeal to travelers. Calle Betis, the Triana street that runs parallel to the river, is especially popular for those in search of nightlife. Come to Seville for the annual Feria de Abril and you'll have to head to the Los Remedios neighborhood to find the festival grounds.
Overall, Seville is a fairly safe city with most crime limited to petty theft. Be sure to stay alert both day and night and keep a close eye on your belongings. Like in most Western countries, the food and water in Seville is safe to consume without taking any extra precautions. But if you have a low tolerance for cigar and cigarette smoke, be prepared for some discomfort; it is illegal to smoke in indoor public spaces, so people tend to smoke just about everywhere else.
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